|Each year a member of the undergraduate
graduating class is chosen to represent their class as the student
speaker at the Commencement Exercises.
Seniors who will graduate in
May 2013 are invited to become candidates for this distinctive honor.
|The essay must be:
- double-spaced on 8½ x 11 paper,
- approximately 5 minutes in delivery length,
- include a cover page with name, address, telephone number,
e-mail and date of graduation.
* Do not include name or identifying information on the essay pages.
- Finalists will be invited to present
their essays as speeches to the committee. If your speech is selected for final review, rehearse the speech very thoroughly
and give careful
attention to the techniques you will use for effective delivery. Your delivery, as well as content, will be considered in the final
selection of a commencement speaker.
| 2. The essay will be evaluated by members of a
committee comprised of the following:
- College marshal
- Assistant vice president of Student
- A representative from the
- A faculty member from Communication
- Special events coordinator for
- Senior class president
- Student trustee or designees
- The candidate selected will be
required to meet with a staff member from institutional
communications to further develop the written speech and a faculty member in communication studies
to work on
the delivery of the speech.
|GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR SPEECH WRITING
|The message from a member of
the graduating class traditionally falls before diplomas are presented. The following information is provided as guidance as you develop your speech.
It is suggested that you review online copies of recent speeches written by former student speakers
to evaluate how the following guidelines were used to develop
- Consider your audience: classmates, faculty, staff,
family and friends. Your speech should acknowledge
those whose sacrifices and encouragement have helped you
achieve your goals.
- Ask yourself - what do I want my audience, particularly my
classmates, to feel at the end of my speech? Motivated?
- Ask yourself - what do I NOT want my audience to feel at
the end of my speech? Bored? Relieved? (Imagine yourself sitting in the audience listening to
your speech. What do you feel? If it's bored or
relieved, go back to the drawing board. Revise and edit.)
4. Use personal anecdotes and appropriate humor to
motivate, encourage and inspire your audience.
a. Remind your audience of the joyous event they are
celebrating - Commencement!
b. Remember that you are speaking to/for/with your
c. Consider using any one of the following suggestions
to develop an inspirational thread to weave throughout
overcoming of a challenge-personal or academic
achieving a goal
leading by example
making a difference
using shared experiences as a springboard for future success
d. Remember-use personal
experiences only as an inspiration to your classmates. The
spotlight may seem to be on you, but your job is to use your
experience and refocus its beam on your classmates and, your
shared celebration of having achieved your shared
goal--commencement. An effective commencement speech
reflects the sentiments of your classmates through your
Avoid clichés. Make appropriate use of metaphor.
7. Be brief. Be sincere. According to Whitman and Foster, a commencement speech
generally addresses the following three topics:
a. It offers congratulations
b. It reviews accomplishments, and
c. It issues a challenge. The word commencement denotes
a beginning....What inspirational thoughts can you share
which will assure that you and your
prepared and ready to take up life's challenges as you
take your place in society?
Questions can be directed to Brian Salvaggio
or Gael DeIuliis at the Office of Student Affairs, Boyden Hall 106,
508.531.1276. Please remember to return your qualifying essay by the deadline date -
Monday, March 25, 2013 to the Office of Student Affairs, Boyden Hall
106. Speeches can also be sent electronically to